Meetings Saturday to discuss migrant worker changes

By   /   May 12, 2017  /   4 Comments

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Two meetings are planned on Saturday to discuss concerns around the changes proposed by the government for migrant workers in New Zealand.

Two meetings are planned on Saturday to discuss concerns around the changes proposed by the government for migrant workers in New Zealand.
One meeting has been called by the SkyCity Employees Association for 12 noon at the Unite Union office, 6a Western Springs Rd, Auckland. SkyCity is the largest private sector workplace in New Zealand and has hundreds of workers on temporary work visas who may be affected by the changes.
The second meeting has been called by the Migrant Workers Association for 4pm at the Methodist Church, 39 Kolmar Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland targeting Indian migrant workers who may be affected by the changes.
SEA-Unite co-president Julia Liu says that “the government has changed the rules for workers under the skilled migrant category. The government has now increased the points required to get permanent residence under the skilled worker category and imposed a minimum income requirement of over $48,859 that many will not be able to meet. Those who don’t meet the new requirements will have a maximum of three years before they are kicked out.
“We believe that this is unfair. We want to inform workers about these changes and campaign to extend the amnesty being proposed by the government for workers in the South Island to the North Island. If you, your workmates or your friends or family are affected, please invite them to come. Together we are stronger.”
More information here at-
For more information contact Unite Union Senior Organiser Joe carolan 029 445 5702
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About the author

Mike Treen

National Director of Unite Union

4 Comments

  1. keepcalmcarryon says:

    A quote from todays Stuff article: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/92545215/migrant-workers-consider-strikes-to-make-their-point-over-visa-changes

    “SkyCity declined to comment, but an organiser with the Unite union, Joe Carolan, said it was one of the rare occasions where both employers and the workers held similar concerns.”

    Big greedy corporate wants its cheap labour to remain.
    Unite union once again defending mass migration, keeping kiwi wages low.
    Solidarity my arse.

    • The Weatherman says:

      If your primary concern is not the welfare of workers, local or migrant, then your capacity for empathy is smaller than an orange, like your brain. The “go home” brigade can go to hell. Workers’ protections and healthy wages, argued for by the likes of United Union, would make shipping in slave workers much less profitable and stem the numbers.

      The right controls is a well-regulated regime for workers’ rights, followed up by quality enforcement and stiff penalties for breaching people’s rights, not artificially turning on or off the tap.

      • keepcalmcarryon says:

        Just curious what the union position was regarding setting up sub unions for scab labour to break strikes etc?

        Where is your empathy for kiwis living in cars while cheap foreign labour gets shipped in and looked after?

        • The Weatherman says:

          It’s not either/or, us or them.

          Migrant labour is very often NOT looked after. Cuts are made at the expense of their labour.

          I don’t blame the Indonesian worker who wants to go to NZ to work, or who even ends up working illegally. If you read the reports they are conned and threatened and put upon all the way.

          Likewise, I worry for the increasing social problems in New Zealand like people sleeping in cars. Accessing help is very difficult: WINZ is an abusive system that tries to put people off as soon as they put their feet in the door. People who are made redundant have little in the way of rights. A nasty employer can just send a letter to WINZ and say they were sacked for bad behaviour and the worker will be relegated to carpark while they argue or don’t bother to argue that claim.

          And I agree that big industry and the service industry in NZ is addicted to cheap labour, that they lie claiming that they would employ Kiwis when in reality they pay a fee to a labour hire company through an intermediary for x number of people, and don’t hire people on the spot (not the big industries. The service industry does hire on the spot – international students on student visas).

          I refuse to blame the migrant worker or the Kiwi in the car who can’t find work in the New Zealand labour market. One is being neglected, the other is being exploited. Both are being abused “in State care”.

          We should not see immigration as a problem separate from workers’ rights. If you take care of workers and enforce labour protections and requirements then local workers are employed more often and employing dorm rooms of foreigners who cannot complain and don’t know their rights is less attractive. Ensuring protection and decent wages for both types of workers encourages businesses to develop the local workforce.

          As for strike breaking, I’m against it.